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Notre Dame No. 1 in BCS standings for first time

By Brian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune –

As the traditional “#1” sign shines above Grace Hall on Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, Ind., the BCS standings made it official: The Irish are one win from a national championship berth.

Notre Dame is No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time in school history, as revealed Sunday night. And with a win over USC and little other commotion along the way, the Irish all but assuredly would play the winner of the SEC championship game for the crystal ball trophy in January.

“Now we don’t have to answer the questions about style points or politics or anything like that,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said earlier Sunday. “We get a chance to play for the national championship provided we win this week.”

Notre Dame took over at No. 1 in the BCS rankings with an average of .9973, followed by Alabama at .9333 and Georgia at .8763, at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. In all likelihood, Alabama and Georgia will meet in the SEC title game and determine one of the national title participants.

Florida and Oregon rounded out the top 5, on the outside looking in for the moment.

“There’s clearly a sense of pride and accomplishment that our football team is winning games,” Kelly said. “I think that’s what we’re more focused on—not on the No.1 but the consistency of our program is really what I think there’s a lot of pride in.”

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